Last Modified: 9:22am 01/09/2022

Visiting a patient

From Thursday 1 September, visitors will no longer be required to wear face masks in the hospital unless they are in a clinical area with immunocompromised or COVID-19 patients.

This change has been made after taking into consideration the reduced prevalence of COVID-19 and the potential improvements to patient care and experience that could be realised if face mask use is reduced.

Should visitors make a personal choice to continue to wear a face masks, they should feel comfortable to continue to do so.

Areas where face masks are still required will be clearly marked and staff will politely ask patients to adhere to face mask requirements.



Please note, visiting restrictions may change at short notice due to operational pressures and/or the number of Covid-19 patients in the hospital.

Patients on adult inpatient wards are allowed visitors between the hours of 1430 and 1930hrs and will not need to book an appointment in advance. We advise that patients have one visitor at a time.

The main changes are as follows for each of the respective areas:

Adult inpatient wards

  • One visitor per patient between the hours of 1430 and 1930hrs on adult inpatient unless there are other specific agreements in place with the ward. Visitors are not required to book a visit in advance.
  • Visiting outside these hours must be agreed with the Ward Manager or Nurse in Charge prior to any visit. Exceptions will be made based on the individual needs of the patient. In exceptional circumstance, such as end of life or patients that have dementia or require carer support (e.g John’s Campaign), more than one visitor can be requested for authorisation by the Matron in-hours and the Clinical Site Team out-of-hours.
  • Visitors must remain at the bedside of the person they’re visiting and not walk around the ward or have contact with other patients. Young children should NOT visit adult wards/ departments unless agreed in exceptional circumstances through the Matron in-hours and the Clinical Site Team out-of-hours.
  • PPE guidance for each area must be adhered to by visitors.
  • NO visitors for patients who have been required to isolate due to a certain type of surgical procedure (green elective pathway) unless otherwise agreed by staff in advance.

Please note, wards with extremely vulnerable patients or those at high-risk of infections may still have visiting restrictions in place.

ED and outpatients

  • Patients attending ED can have a maximum of one relative with them at any one time.
  • In the Outpatient Department and Clinics patients can be accompanied by one visitor at all times.

Maternity and Paediatrics

  • Maternity will continue with current visiting of one partner and can increase to two if capacity allows (on labour ward ONLY) following a risk assessment by the Matron/Midwife in-charge.
  • Neonatal Unit will be allowed one parent/carer per baby and can increase to a 2nd parent/carer if capacity allows following a risk assessment by the Matron/Neonatal Nurse in-charge.
  • Paediatrics will continue with the current visiting of one parent/carer with a 2nd parent/carer if capacity allows following a risk assessment by the Matron/Paediatric Nurse in-charge.
  • All patients should be tested using a PCR on admission.
  • Partners no longer require an LFT if they are asymptomatic.

Ward 9 will continue with current visiting of one partner between the hours of 08:00 am and 10:00 pm.

When visiting the Hospital all visitors must:

  • Use hand gel when entering any clinical area or wash their hands.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the clinical area they are visiting as directed by the staff – signage is available on entry to each ward.
  • Only visit the area where the patient is being cared for.
  • Keep physical distancing where possible and avoid sitting on hospital beds.
  • Please DO NOT bring flowers into the hospital for infection control reasons.
  • Please DO NOT eat or drink at the bedside for infection control reasons.

In some cases, patients who have an infectious condition, or who may need further protection from infection, may be moved into a side room or into a specific ward area to manage that infection or risk. Visitors must ask nursing staff about any other precautions needed when visiting or if there are additional restrictions to visiting.

Ward areas have protected mealtimes and visitors may be asked to leave so the patients can eat without interruption unless otherwise agreed in specific circumstances (eg John’s Campaign).

Visitors MUST NOT visit if they have:

  • Any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Recently tested positive for COVID-19, or are waiting for a test result
  • Respiratory symptoms, diarrhoea or vomiting

If a visitor thinks they have an infectious illness, they should contact the ward or department before visiting.